Studying through OUA
At OUA you have the freedom to fit learning around your life.
One of the ways you can do this is by choosing the number of units you take at any one time. You can fast-track your qualification by loading up on units, or take some time off when you need a break.
Your OUA studies are divided into study terms, that can include Study Periods (four per year), Semesters (three per year), and Sessions (three per year).
Sessions are for postgraduate students, and Study Periods and Semesters can be for either undergraduate or postgraduate students.
We use Study Periods, Semester and Sessions because they offer our students more flexibility.
How much study is involved in a unit?
A single undergraduate unit usually requires 10 to 12 hours of study per week. The amount of study required for postgraduate units can vary depending on your provider university and your course, but is generally more than for an undegraduate unit.
How many units should I do at a time?
The number of units you should do at any one time will depend on several things, including:
- Whether you're starting out or have been studying with OUA for a while
- How much experience you have with online technology
- How much time per week you can dedicate to your online studies
You can enrol in up to four units per study term*. However, we don't recommend doing that unless you have few or no other commitments.
We generally recommend taking no more than two units per study term. (Remember that three units per study term at the undergraduate level would require between 30 and 36 hours of study per week, about the same as a full-time job.)
One unit per study term can be a good starting point for new students or for students who don't have much experience with online technology.
*To take more than four units in a study term, you'll need to demonstrate exceptional circumstances. You can contact us via our Online Enquiry Form to apply.
Can I take a break from study?
Yes. If you need to take time away from study you can, although there are some guidelines you should take into account.
In most cases you can take one or more study terms off as it suits you (multiple study terms in a row, if you need to) so long as you successfully complete the requirements of the qualification within the completion time.
A small number of courses are more strict about when you can take breaks, so it's important to find out what the limits are from your provider university.
Commonwealth supported place (CSP) students
If you're undertaking a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) course, you'll need to apply for leave with your provider university if you intend to take two or more consecutive study terms off.
CSP students have 10 years to complete a qualification through OUA.
However from 2016, students who commence their degree with Griffith University will have eight years to complete their studies.
We strongly recommend contacting your provider university to find out more about taking breaks from CSP courses.
Study and Centrelink
The study load of each unit is measured as Equivalent Full Time Study Load (EFTSL), a measure which is recognised by Centrelink. The maximum permitted EFTSL is 0.5 in a study term, or four units.
- Part-time study has an EFTSL of 0.125, which is the equivalent of one unit requiring 10 to 12 hours of study per week.
- Full-time study has an EFTSL of 0.250, which is two units requiring 20 to 24 hours of study per week.
You can find each unit's EFTSL on its unit details page. As not all units have a standard EFTSL of 0.125, it's best to check before enrolling.